* HIDDEN_ACCESSIBILITY_TITLE *
TOSHIBA TECHNICAL BLOG

Managing Your Estate of Notebooks PCs

Whether you are small business through to a large enterprise keeping your estate of notebooks, PCs, servers and Windows Tablets in compliancy for security and performance patches is something that should be high up on your priority list. With patches being implemented each week by Microsoft and software vendors how do you ensure the patches you want delivered to your devices actually are delivered, and then how can you be sure the patches were actually applied?

Then you also need to keep track of licencing and understand what software is installed on which device and how many instances of a software product are installed across your estate so you can ensure you have the correct licencing in place.

How about monitoring the power used across your estate? Are you currently, or interested, in seeing the cost of powering your devices across the estate, by department, or by individual?

What about driver updates and BIOS updates for your Toshiba products – how are you deploying these?

It’s very likely you have a multi-vendor estate that needs to be managed so you will have implemented, or will be looking to implement a system that is agnostic to the vendor. Perhaps a system that allows you to control easily what’s deployed and when; one that informs you of devices that are not in compliance; one that allows you to manage the devices even when away from your corporate network?

So ideally you are after a system that:-

  • Is easy to setup and doesn’t require you to implement IT infrastructure
  • Is off-premise, cloud based, with no IT experience needed to setup and use
  • Allows YOU to get on with other important projects safe in the knowledge that your devices are being patched, asset reported and power managed
  • Will monitor and report on devices anywhere they are, even away from your business network
  • Gives YOU the control to decide when patches are deployed and block those that you do not want to deploy
  • Let’s YOU see when a patch has not been accepted by a client device so YOU can take remedial action
  • Let’s YOU see what software is installed across your estate and on how many devices
  • Let’s YOU see what the power usage is and the cost of your estate – actual true figures where possible
  • There are a plethora of systems on the market that offer some of the above, very few all of the above. Many work on the fire-and-forget system of patch management: the “I’ve sent the patch to the device so it must have been accepted”. This is not the most accurate solution – did you know that most devices will be out of patch compliance because the target device has not been rebooted/restarted, or the patch transfer failed for whatever reason so that it never actually reached the target device? You wouldn’t send a valuable item somewhere without knowing it was actually received at the other end, so why would you want to do that with your IT estate?

    Well, Toshiba have a system that offers YOU all of the above and gives YOU the confidence that your devices are being managed in the way YOU want them to be. That system is called Toshiba Cloud Client Manager (TCCM) and it works across any computing hardware running a Windows based OS, but what is it and what does it offer, and more importantly how can you get it?

    Toshiba Cloud Client manger (TCCM)

    TCCM is a cloud based system that requires no strong IT skills to setup or investment in costly server products and operating systems to deploy and manage. That is because TCCM is cloud based so all you need is access to the internet, a web browser, and a TCCM account. From the friendly web-portal you can download a client package to deploy to your estate. Once the package has been deployed it will register the device to your account on the TCCM system and automatically download the remaining management agent software silently and transparent to your users. With TCCM the client device simply needs a connection to the internet so it does not have to be on your business network to be fully managed.

    Once the devices are registered to the TCCM account you can group these into whatever grouping system you prefer – office, geographical, work unit, etc. – and you can start to manage these devices (by the way, you don’t have to group them but it can make life easier).

    Patch Management

    Patches are added to the system automatically and you can set a delay on how long it will be before these are offered to client devices. This gives you time to receive the patch notification and decide whether this is something you want for your estate. This way you have time to exclude a patch from deployment.

    With TCCM the clients communicate daily via an internet connection with the TCCM servers. The TCCM system is a reference point to whether the clients are compliant with the settings you have made and if they are not the clients request the patch from the system. This is one area where TCCM differs as the client is requesting the patch, not the patching server firing patches out hoping the patch will be accepted.

    The client is checking daily if it is compliant and the patch(es) can be redeployed if needed. You can also see where a patch has not been deployed and take action to identify why this is happening – to TCCM a patch is only considered deployed when the client has reported 100% completion and compliance.

    For Toshiba devices you can also easily deploy updated BIOS files and drivers when available in exactly the same way you would a patch – automatically without creating and testing a deployment package, or visiting each client.

    Asset Management

    Knowing what software and versions are installed on your estate and what devices the software is installed on is critical to ensure you are in licence compliancy, but also should there be an issue of any kind with a piece of software you can easily identify where the software is installed and take action.

    Every time the client communicates with the TCCM system it reports and updates the asset list of installed software and utilities along with the versions.

    Power Management

    With a Toshiba B2B product (Tecra, Portege, and selected Satellite Pro) our BIOS continually monitors the power usage and reports this to the TCCM system daily. This data is as accurate as possible (you can enter the cost of a unit of electricity for accurate cost reporting) and lets you identify where power usage may be higher in one part of your organisation than another. From this point decide you can decide if you wish to deploy a power management profile or take other action.

    For non-Toshiba B2B product or products from other vendors internationally recognised estimating values are used to give an indication to what the estate is costing to run, so again you can take the action you feel is necessary.

    TCCM will also calculate your CO2 output from the devices using internationally recognised and approved formulae so you can ensure all steps have been taken to comply with your own environmental policies.

    Reporting

    Immediate views are available through the web-portal of the asset lists, patch status and power usage (historical graphs and text based reports) that allow you to monitor things live.

    Monthly reports are also available to show summary views of the estate so these can be incorporated into your monthly reports to your management.

    With the above, further information is available on the links below as well as details on how to obtain a free trial. Take a deeper look at TCCM and register for a free trial – you have nothing to lose:-

    Should you want any more information on TCCM then please contact your usual Toshiba account team, your usual reseller, or the UK B2B Consultant Team at tiub2bconsultants@toshiba.co.uk

    Until the next time,

    Your Toshiba B2B Consultant Team